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Author Topic: New military state  (Read 1248 times)

dth1

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New military state
« on: December 26, 2022, 01:32:35 pm »

I suggest to add a new military state for squads, which would be basically red alert. Dwarfs should drop everything they are doing, grab their gear and do whatever you're asking them to do. They should not try go get a random nap, go grab new drink, go check out new pair of boots or do whatever they are currently doing when you give them a station order. Basically, it should work like: "get your stuff, move there and sit there until you pass out from starvation/dehydration/exhaustion". It's hard to count the number of times when I had half of my squad just leave their post by the front gate during the onslaught of goblins. To be honest, I'd even make it default behavior for station/kill order. I don't care if they are hungry, when I give them order they should obey, and if they leave their post, I would like to have an option to use my captain of the guard and punish them, because they endanger everyone. They can get negative thoughts when they get hungry while on station order, or when they pass out, I don't care, but they should obey the orders instead of treating them like suggestions. This could be even controlled by militia commander's skills, the bigger the skill the better the control, I'm fine with that. But if those morons leave their post and their brothers get slaughtered, I want to be able to hold them accountable for that. At least I want them to _understand_ that they disobeyed an order and feel something about it. Like "He was ashamed to disobey an order". I could currently just drop them to lava, but it makes as much sense as yelling on cat. They don't know they did something wrong, so there's no reason to punish them because they won't get the message anyways.

On the same note, I would like to be able to force "sleep", "eat" and "drink" my military squad. Because there is no "per hour schedule", there's no way to make sure that all your military squads are ready for what you're planning to do. Let's say you're under siege, and you closed your fort and prepare to defend. You mobilize all your squads and tell them to station somewhere, but then some of them are hungry, some of them are tired, so you lose these as they go away doing whatever they want. So you wait for them to finally come back but by the time they do that, other group just goes away to eat, sleep or whatever. And it never ends. I would like to give my squads order to satisfy all their _essential_ needs, so that I can have them ready for whatever I want to do with them.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2022, 01:55:35 pm by dth1 »
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Shonai_Dweller

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Re: New military state
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2022, 06:46:38 pm »

The ability to mod in robots and would be nice, yeah. Not something I'd ever want to see in the vanilla game. Dwarves being independent and choosing not to die of thirst for some pretty noble (you) is completely what Dwarf Fortress is about.

(Pretty sure Station orders used to kill your dwarves as they'd refuse to drink. And was rightly reported as a bug. Was that fixed then? Great!).
« Last Edit: December 26, 2022, 06:48:30 pm by Shonai_Dweller »
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dth1

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Re: New military state
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2022, 07:56:56 am »

Well, now we have bug that they drink beverages from their waterskins and immediately go to refill them, making waterskins useless. Also, for the most part it's an order that is meant to save the entire fortress, but if half of the squad would rather sentence half of the fort to death because they had to refill their waterskins or have a nap during the siege and you're ok with that, then I see no reason to even talk about it. There's difference between dwarfs becoming drones and dwarfs not being useless as military because they prioritize searching for a new sock over defending the fort during siege. In real life people were sentenced to death for sleeping on their duty so that others would obey and don't put the rest of them at risk. In real life soldiers don't just lay down on a ground and have a nap in the middle of combat, they also don't just wander off to eat something when given order to defend something. Does this make them drones? Not really, they just know how to control themselves. Military is not "hey man, could you perhaps go and kill that beast? You're tired now? Ok, maybe after you have a full night's sleep? You need a beer too? Ok, so how about next week then? You know, we're kind of in hurry, because it's killing people now... you don't care? Well, I guess I'll wait", it's more like "move your ass right now, I don't care that you're tired and if you don't go there now you will face consequences". What military dwarfs currently do in this game is generally called "poorly written AI".
« Last Edit: December 27, 2022, 08:10:26 am by dth1 »
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Shonai_Dweller

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Re: New military state
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2022, 08:16:14 am »

Sure, but you're just making stuff up now. Military dwarves don't run off "in search of a sock". They used to go and collect higher grade armour, helps you survive, die and the fortress dies, remember? Although that's now manually controlled.

In the end you're not in control of your dwarves, their military commander is. And he agrees dwarves shouldn't kill themselves by not drinking. As "overseer" you need to ensure the drinks pile is closer to their station. Or hire undead mercenaries who don't need to eat/drink/sleep.
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Criperum

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Re: New military state
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2022, 08:39:07 am »

Or make more soldiers and setup schedule so that only 7-8 soldiers are on duty and others are resting, eating etc.
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dth1

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Re: New military state
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2022, 08:52:40 am »

Yeah, I am making stuff up, because I don't really care to check why they are leaving their post, I just see that half of the guys just left to do whatever was more important than safety of everyone and half of the other guys will leave as soon as the first batch comes back. You're just defending poor design and I don't really understand why. It not more realistic, it doesn't make game more fun, it's just annoying. I've just noticed that you're the same person that defends dwarfs dying of starvation in hospitals because you didn't build well. Are you defending every poor mechanics in the game? You know that fixing stuff that doesn't work isn't really ruining the game right? Just because you got used to something stupid doesn't mean we can't fix it to make game more enjoyable.

"Or make more soldiers and setup schedule so that only 7-8 soldiers are on duty and others are resting, eating etc."
that doesn't work when squad was off duty before the siege, now you can have 5/10 hungry/tired/thristy, because who knows what they were doing before you raised alarm and now they will decide to satisfy their needs whenever they please and there's nothing you can do about it. Their families could be butchered but I guess they need their glass of wine more.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2022, 11:01:50 am by dth1 »
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Shonai_Dweller

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Re: New military state
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2022, 11:02:15 pm »

No, I'm defending dwarves not being robots and will continue to do so. The undead and goblin mercs are all available, as will be golems and stuff after magic is introduced.

And, sorry, which army are you in where they make you stand on guard for several days without being able to drink water or sleep? That's just utterly inept management. Glad it's not part of this game.
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SixOfSpades

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Re: New military state
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2022, 01:35:25 am »

. . . which army are you in where they make you stand on guard for several days without being able to drink water or sleep?
We all know full well that the game's dual time scale means that "several days" means pretty much the exact same thing as "the duration of an average battle." Let's all step back a bit and acknowledge that it's disingenuous to counter someone's argument by pointing out that it's ridiculous on one time scale, without also admitting that it makes sense on the other time scale. I can't think of any army in the world that'd be perfectly okay with their soldiers individually deciding to bed down for a good night's sleep, or to go on a beer run, right after being ambushed by the enemy.

Fair point, dwarves--even dwarven soldiers--are not robots. They have needs, which must be met.
Fair point, dwarves--especially dwarven soldiers--are honorable, and (fairly) willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good if need be.
Barring some major rewrite that merges the game's two clocks (meaning, all dwarves would eat/drink/sleep every day, instead of every month), the best we're going to do is reach a compromise. Something like, soldiers having reduced biological needs as compared to civilians, but forcing them to abide by these reduced needs for long periods can take a psychological toll on them. (Of course, depending on personality traits, some dwarves might actually prefer the more hardy, rugged barracks life--and if these dwarves have other qualities that make them good officers, so much the better.) Military dwarves, even absolutely raw conscripts, should be fully aware that the survival of the entire fort might depend on them, and it is NOT okay to go wander off just because they feel a bit peckish & could do with a snack--soldiers attending to biological needs should be determined by each militia captain, who bases this decision on his own expectation of squad activity (both normal sparring & actual enemy contact) in the immediate future. And yes, players should be able to tell each individual captain whether to break his troops out on a "Training" schedule (soldiers are instructed to all eat/drink/sleep simultaneously, so that drilling & sparring are all done as a unit) or on a "Guard" schedule (soldiers are sent on break individually, so that at least half the squad is always present & ready for action).

I for one support the idea of an "Emergency!" militia setting, jumpstarting an immediate armed response at the cost of such a response being haphazard and uncoordinated, and somewhat upsetting for everyone involved. Threats will be greeted, not by a whole squad decked out in masterwork steel everything, but rather by a handful of angry beards carrying just weapons & shields--maybe a helmet or a mail shirt here & there, if they were able to grab it & put it on while running to their destination. The Emergency! condition automatically turns off after an in-game day or so, dropping the squad(s) back down to a regular Station/Kill order, causing them to (one at a time) go put the rest of their gear on, and come back, complaining about the "whiplash" draft.
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Dwarf Fortress -- kind of like Minecraft, but for people who hate themselves.

dth1

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Re: New military state
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2022, 05:35:18 am »

In game day is not enough to do anything. The entire timeline would have to be changed to something more like Rimworld has in order for something like this to work, but yeah, that would solve most issues, because every day dwarves would have a time for eating, drinking etc. instead of doing it every X days like now. But that's too big of a change for now, so it's shouldn't be a part of this discussion.

"And, sorry, which army are you in where they make you stand on guard for several days without being able to drink water or sleep? That's just utterly inept management. Glad it's not part of this game."
In this game, when you embark, your miner can just dig through the layers of stone for something like a month without eating, drinking and sleeping or even taking a moment to rest and you're telling me that me wanting to have reliable military(that is able to stand their post for more than 5 minutes) is making drones out of them? :D That's silly. You're comparing that to real military and saying they don't spend days stationed without food and water :D You want realism? Make it that they leave their post after an in-game day, the whole squad, every day, to drink, eat and sleep within those 12 seconds. That would be realistic. And make them throw tantrums and riot if you give them kill order that takes more than 1 day at the time. That's realism, that's perfect gameplay. That's the challenge.
 
You're really sold on your idea of exploiting the military orders, and I'm not talking about putting squad on standing order for a month, they can't even keep up for couple of days without breaking up to eat/sleep/whatever they do. Immediately upon arrival half of the squad goes away to do whatever they want. THIS is stupid. Not the fact that after being on station order for a month some dwarfs go away to eat something. They have their stupid backpacks and waterskins for a reason and apparently they don't even work as they should. So your entire talk about military being drones is just invalid. I'll repeat: military dwarfs currently have a problem to stand their post for more than a minute. They are broken and need fixing. They can have bad thoughts about being stationed for too long, they can even throw tantrums, I don't care as long as they do what they are meant to do. And do it now, not in 10 minutes when I don't need them anymore.
You're mentioning that I'm the overseer, I'm the noble here and they disobey because they want to eat. That's fine too. But if I'm such a bad noble and they do it intentionally, I want to be able to punish them for not following my orders. It's either this, or they follow every order. You can't just give me tools that don't work and give me no way around it. That's bad gameplay.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2022, 06:17:46 am by dth1 »
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jipehog

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Re: New military state
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2022, 07:08:46 am »

I like both of the last comments suggestions for how to extend what DF regular scheduling and orders. Btw a similar concept is used in ONI giving an option to handle colony emergencies (e.g. when the colony's survival is at stake) by pushing your people further for a short period of time at cost for their well being in the long run.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2022, 07:13:51 am by jipehog »
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Pillbo

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Re: New military state
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2023, 05:06:32 pm »

Agreed, it's very annoying that anytime I station a squad to meet a threat a few of them leave immediately after arriving. It's not prolonged stationing, I just want the ten of them together when I set a kill order, but it's usually only 4-6 dwarves at a time because they constantly leave for something. Staying at a station should be expected behavior which backpacks & waterskins enable.

As far as sleep, let them be sleep deprived and fight poorly, they're already willing to die based on my orders, so let them be tired based on my orders, at least for a reasonable amount of time from the player's perspective.
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ayy1337

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Re: New military state
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2023, 08:02:00 pm »

Soldiers irl have never had to mind a post with just a shallow ditch hastily dug to sleep in, or not enough food and water, right? /s

There certainly should be an option to make them guard a spot until exhaustion and starvation set in, soldiers irl actually do have to do this in war time. Having them eat some berries nearby (say if they're guarding your above ground entrance) or sleep on the ground wouldn't be unrealistic either. Obviously they mostly wouldn't enjoy this though and should get negative moods to match.
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Orange-of-Cthulhu

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Re: New military state
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2023, 01:25:46 pm »

I agree that there should be some sort defcon 1 where dwarves would only leave a post to eat/drink if not doing it meant they died.

Generalizing this, imo fortresses need a system for costumizable generalized defcon-levels.

The labor settings allow you to change things like don't gather plants and fish doing invasions and so on. But you have to change them all manually in each invasion and then reset them afterwards.

I'd also like a sliding scale for soldier "hardcoreness", with leave condition going from "about to die from starvation", "loosing combat efficiency due to hunger", "if you're hungry" - and so on for their other needs.
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Shonai_Dweller

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Re: New military state
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2023, 06:27:15 pm »

Soldiers irl have never had to mind a post with just a shallow ditch hastily dug to sleep in, or not enough food and water, right? /s

There certainly should be an option to make them guard a spot until exhaustion and starvation set in, soldiers irl actually do have to do this in war time. Having them eat some berries nearby (say if they're guarding your above ground entrance) or sleep on the ground wouldn't be unrealistic either. Obviously they mostly wouldn't enjoy this though and should get negative moods to match.
"My Dwarves fell asleep in the guard corridor and were slaughtered. Broken game! Fix it! Make them go to the barracks to sleep!""
- Irate player circa 2025

Also berries? In a stone tunnel? You either let them get something to eat (and ensure its nearby) or you don't. It's not like military dwarves just wander off to drink in the tavern for days when they're supposed to be guarding. Also, if they are wandering off, I assume it's because they're ignoring the food in their backpacks, so that's a bug that needs to be fixed to make things a bit better.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2023, 06:31:12 pm by Shonai_Dweller »
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Orange-of-Cthulhu

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Re: New military state
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2023, 07:54:29 am »

Soldiers irl have never had to mind a post with just a shallow ditch hastily dug to sleep in, or not enough food and water, right? /s

There certainly should be an option to make them guard a spot until exhaustion and starvation set in, soldiers irl actually do have to do this in war time. Having them eat some berries nearby (say if they're guarding your above ground entrance) or sleep on the ground wouldn't be unrealistic either. Obviously they mostly wouldn't enjoy this though and should get negative moods to match.
"My Dwarves fell asleep in the guard corridor and were slaughtered. Broken game! Fix it! Make them go to the barracks to sleep!""
- Irate player circa 2025

Also berries? In a stone tunnel? You either let them get something to eat (and ensure its nearby) or you don't. It's not like military dwarves just wander off to drink in the tavern for days when they're supposed to be guarding. Also, if they are wandering off, I assume it's because they're ignoring the food in their backpacks, so that's a bug that needs to be fixed to make things a bit better.

A lot of player don't use backpacks, because they cause military dwarves dump food all over the place. I think they dump food when you set them to off duty, I'm not sure exactly why. In any case, you can get rid of the military-miasma by not using backpacks at all, and I've seen many players recommending that.

Probably at one point it needs overhauling, both with the backpacks and I guess it would be best to overhaul the stationing so either military dwarves get replaced by a another one for sleep and eating and drinking as it would be IRL. IRL you wouldn't just abandon a post when the soldier needs to eat, you'd replace him. And it seems intuitive to me it should work like that.

Another solution is to introduce some sort of soldier-heloer, like squires, that would bring food to stationed soldiers and carry their weapons around and stuff like that.

I think a lot of parts of the military are still clunky, counterintuitive and reguire too much micro-management.

Maybe it's better to leave it as it is till the great big military update. So Toady can streamline the whole thing in like 2028 :)
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